I find it extremely easy to understand why fellowship is ranked up there with prayer and Bible study. I've been in a small group for 15 years and there's no doubt in my mind that the fellowship, transparency, accountability, and study has kept me on the narrow road...
This drama is really emphasising that WE need to be responsible for actively seeking to grow in our relationships - I.E. a small group. In this case, Rich (annoying as he might be! :), has chosen not to get involved in a small group even though he has been at the church for 2 years. It's about personal accountability for both growing in godliness and building the kind of relationships that make a huge difference in our lives.
(Note: A good friend pointed something out to me. Mike appears to not have enough time for Rich and his wackiness. I've re-written Mike a bit since that is obviously not the intent. - Thanks Ricci!)
Rich: A Christian who has yet to get involved in small groups
Mike: A Christian in a small group.
Sandy: A woman in the church.
Morning church service (LIGHTS UP CENTER STAGE on Rich as he sits in the congregation, morning program in hand. Mike comes walking by and passes in front of Rich…)
Rich: Matt? Matt? Hey Matt!
Mike: (He stops and looks back and smiles) Oh, hey Rich. It’s Mike, remember? Mike.
Rich: Matt, Mike, - What’s the difference? Come on, sit down.
Mike: Well, I was kinda heading over to sit with my…
Rich: (pulls Mike down) Have a seat, Matt. Take a load off!
Mike: (Mike is going to correct him on the name again but chuckles in resignation)Oh, okay Rich.
Rich: Great, great! Okay, alright. Man, this is going to be great! Do you know what Randy is preaching on today?
Mike: That’s Ray. Ray Stark.
Rich: Randy, Ray. What’s the difference?
Mike: Well, actually, he’s talking about the importance of small gr…
Rich: Hey, it’s great to sit together isn’t it? I mean, if it wasn’t for me, you probably would be sitting alone. Am I right?
Mike: Well, not really Rich. I mean, no offense or anything but I would probably be sitting with the guys from my small group. Why don't we both go sit wi...
Rich: A small group? Oh you mean one of those 4 hour meeting where you read the book of Hezekiah or something and people heal you with snakes and stuff right?
Mike: Er, no… not really. I mean, we do study the Bible and talk about how it’s relevant to our lives…
Rich: And it doesn’t last 4 hours?
Mike: Uh, no.
Rich: And they’re aren’t any snakes?
Rich: Well what fun is that? Okay, well, Bible study is fine but what about these guys, Matt? What have those guys every done for you that ol’ Rich hasn’t?
Mike: Well, for one thing, they build me up and encourage me. And they know me. I mean, if they see something in my life that is out of whack, they speak the truth to me in a really cool way. They really care.
Rich: Yeah, maybe they care now but what happens when times get tough? Tell me that!
Mike: Well, take the other day for example. Remember that big storm? Well, when the basement flooded at 2am, they were the first ones there, helping me drain it.
Rich: Ewww. That doesn’t sound like fun, Matt.
Mike: No, it wasn’t but you know what? It was pretty cool. I mean, as we were ripping up the carpeting, we were kinda joking around and it was a relief to know that I had these guys in my life.
Rich: Yeah, well. I might join one one day when I get settled in here.
Mike: Let me ask you a question, Rich. How long have you been going to Northside?
Rich: Oh, I don’t know what day is today, Sunday? (Starts counting on his fingers). 2 years.
Mike: (incredulous) What? 2 years and you’re not in a small group?
Rich: Hey, I don’t need one. I mean, I know lots of people who I can talk to!
Mike: Oh yeah, like who?
Rich: Uh… you?
Mike: Me? You don’t even know my name! What’s my name, Rich?
Rich: Er.. Matt?… Marty?…. er… hold on, it’s coming to me.
Mike: See ya, Rich. I’ve got to go.
Rich: (shouts after him) Monte? Manny? (talking to self) Hmmm, maybe it’s not an M. Maybe it’s more like an T as in Tom or Tim or…
(Sandy walks by in front of him)
Rich: Hey, Susan! Hey what’s going on?
Sandy: Um, it’s Sandy.
Rich: Susan, Sandy. What’s the difference? Hey ,do you want to sit with me Susan?
(She starts to walk faster and turns into more of a jog. Rich starts chasing her)
Rich: Hey, where you going? Have a seat. Come on, take a load off, etc…
(c) 2000 Dave Marsh